The Journey

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 Forest Green on TV in the FA Cup,
Down here, near Stroud, in the village, Nailsworth,
Where I penned this little poem, this poem that I send,
Please read the explanatory notes, down at the poem’s end:

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 He had a last pint in The Railway in Nailsworth,
A gas light shone bright in his thin brewery glass,
As he took a last mouthful, wiped clean his moustache
And quickly stepped out to a cold fog filled night,
Past Pears soap Empire handbills,
Which promised to wash black babies snow white;
He crept past the goods shed and ash pit,
His muffled white face as pale as the fog,
And this pale brown eyed man who was down on his luck,
Clambered into a coal company truck,
To travel to Stonehouse and then Bristol Dock,
To find a steam tramp bound for Barbados;
But first a slow train steamed past common and hill,
Past dark Walkers Ponds and tall Dunkirk Mills,
Through dank Frogmarsh Cutting and new blue brick arch,
And this pallid faced man picked up coal black dust
And brushed the black gold ‘cross his strong white hands,
And he thought of the records and slavery lists,
That he would soon search in the West Indies,
To discover his African ancestral past,
And he jumped from the train now moving so fast,
And the train blew its whistle, the fog cleared away,
For a clear bright full moon lit the permanent way,
But the driver half froze in his windswept cab,
And the old greying guard sat alone in his van,
As the tail end red lamp disappeared in the night,
And the pallid faced man stared at his white hands,
The strange palimpsest of his own clear white skin,
His ancestral journey was about to begin.



Try and watch Forest Green Rovers versus Exeter City in the first round of the Cup – this piece is a belated offering for Black History Month and was written following the estimation of some historians that possibly 6 per cent of the white UK population has black ancestry. The piece was originally commissioned to celebrate the railway hobo life of W.H. Davies – “Diary of a Supertramp”, “Leisure” etc who lived the last years of his life in Nailsworth.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/the-journey/